Budget cuts may ax powerful telescopes

Nov 06, 2006

U.S. federal science officials said budget constraints may force the closure of the Arecibo dish and the Very Long Baseline Array telescope network.

A committee recommended the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., shut down the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico and the VLBA network by 2011 if it cannot find organizations willing to share annual operating costs of about $8 million and $11 million, respectively, NewScientist.com said. The closures were part of the committee's recommended $30 million reduction in the foundation's operating budget.

Scientists and researchers who operate both telescope programs said they would work to find others willing to assist financially, NewScientist.com said.

Arecibo is the world's most sensitive radio telescope, NewScientist.com said. The giant antenna is fixed, but the Earth's rotation on its axis and movement of a receiver suspended above the reflective dish allow it to scan about 40 percent of the sky over a year.

The VLBA is a network of 10 radio dishes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, offering what scientists said is unmatched resolution at radio wavelengths, NewScientist.com said. The network led to discoveries of cosmic jets and studies of galaxies powered by black holes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA spacecraft prepares for March 12 launch to study earth's dynamic magnetic space environment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

3 hours ago

Google unveiled plans Friday for a new campus headquarters integrating wildlife and sweeping waterways, aiming to make a big statement in Silicon Valley—which is already seeing ambitious projects from Apple ...

Recommended for you

Study of atmospheric 'froth' may help GPS communications

12 hours ago

When you don't know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance. You may not realize that, especially at ...

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

12 hours ago

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.